An appalling video showing a student in a French school threatening a teacher with a dummy ‘gun’ in class has shocked France. Questions are being raised about the regularity of such incidents and the authorities’ response.
The viral footage, initially distributed on Snapchat, shows a class in a school in Creteil commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris. A male student stands in the middle of the classroom and threatens the teacher with an object that looks like a gun, and demands that she write ‘present’, not ‘absent’ in the attendance list. In the background, there is another student making obscene gestures at the camera.
Le calme de cette enseignante braquée en plein cours par un élève et l’absence de signalement et de plainte immédiate par l’établissement scolaire à la suite de ce comportement suggère que ce type d’incidents est régulier. Qui cela étonne-t-il encore ? MLP #Créteil pic.twitter.com/xv9WtxD7ZD
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) October 21, 2018
French media report that the gun was “an airsoft type” ball gun or a toy gun – which wouldn’t be capable of hurting the teacher. In spite of the shocking situation, the teacher seems unperturbed, as though it’s not the first time this has happened.
Following the incident, the teacher filed a complaint and two 16-year-old students were taken into custody, according to French media. The student who made the obscene gestures was soon released, while the main perpetrator is in custody and will stand before a juvenile court on Sunday.
The story caused shock and outrage on social media, with people raising questions regarding the punishment for the students, whether the teacher’s reaction was appropriate, and how the authorities should respond. “I hope they will be severely punished,” one person wrote.
The mayor of the city of Nancy, Laurent Henart, expressed “condemnation and indignation.” The educational community should take exceptional measures “to ensure security” in schools, he tweeted.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the incident “unacceptable” and urged the ministries of interior and education to handle the case.
“Every day, teachers are insulted,” one person commented under Macron’s post. Another person said teachers have to deal with violence, insults, and threats almost every day. “Should we get used to this free daily violence? The New World of Macron!” one person asked.
Marine Le Pen, the president of France’s National Rally (formerly Front National), tweeted that the teacher looked relatively calm. The absence of an immediate report and complaint by the school “suggests that this type of incident is regular,” she wrote.